Fakes, or traditional Greek lentil soup, is a very common dish throughout Greece. Over the past 10 years I’ve spent a lot of time living in the Peloponnese, learning village recipes from my husband’s family. Fakes is a regular Wednesday meal that we would gather around the table to share, usually accompanied by a true Greek salad and fried Gavros fish.
Depending upon how you grow up in Greece, you are used to the “white” or the “red sauce” version of dishes. My mother-in-law is the master at the red sauce version of these dishes. In fact, I didn’t know there was another way, until I tried White Fakes for the first time-it was a surprise!
A couple things to note about the Greek cooking I’ve grown up with before you start: You can never use too much good olive oil, don’t be afraid to use sea salt (of course add gradually, but make sure you have enough to heighten flavor), and overcooking is better than undercooking. These things may all sound strange, but they may be useful in recreating some of the recipes that are posted here. Happy Cooking!
Here is a very simple Lentil Soup Fakes Recipe:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, sliced 1/3 inch thick
3 small Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
2 cups French lentils or regular lentils
12 cups water for French lentils or 9 cups water for regular lentils
4 bay leaves
5 cloves garlic, whole
2-3 spoonfuls tomato paste
sea salt and pepper to taste
Heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in large soup pot. Add chopped onions and saute for a few minutes. Add carrots and saute 10 minutes, use more olive oil if needed. Toss in potatoes, saute a 5 more minutes.
Mix in lentils, garlic and bay leaves, then cover with water. Bring soup up to boil, let simmer for 45-60 minutes until water is absorbed and lentils are soft. Towards the end of cooking the Fakes, mix in tomato paste with soup. Salt and pepper to taste.
Traditionally this dish is served hot with a huge slice of feta on top and a hefty chunk of fresh bread to accompany. Enloy!